"More of your grandiose pipe-dreams?"
"Another of your hair-brained schemes?"
"You'd better get into the world of reality!"
I've heard them all, especially over the past two weeks.
Lately, I've been working on a writing experiment. Actually, I started it a couple of years ago, but I had to stop because there were a couple of grinches who thought they were doing the world a favor by exposing and/or condemning me, rather than just enjoy being swept into a fantasy. After over a year I brought it back, and sure enough another one has showed up with the intention of publicly reducing the writing by demanding "real" facts from the writer.
What it comes down to is this: no one has the right to demand personal information from anyone who blogs. I share what I feel comfortable sharing, and I owe nothing more than that. If I'm in a wheelchair, or live in a cold water tenement, or am a 60 year-old meth addict, or am a millionaire celebrity living on Martha's Vineyard really is no one's business here on the web. I ask no personal information from any of the bloggers I enjoy reading, and they owe me nothing, not even the truth. They owe me even less about their private lives. It's my responsibility to chose to read them or not. But a whole lot of people out there seem to think that we owe them... everything.
What's happened? I guess nobody reads anymore, so they have no appreciation or understanding of nom de plumes. Instead of enjoying getting lost in a story and a character, they demand facts about the writer, convinced that you're trying to "pull a fast one" on your readers.
Since when was writing about the writer and not the writing?
They must not know about George Sand (Armandine Lucie Aurore Dupin), George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Molière (Jean Baptiste Poquelin), or Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorn Clemens).
Several years ago I wrote under the pen name of Stephan Karl Waller and my god, you'd think I was the unknown gunman on the grassy knoll or something! My online presence, personal reputation, credibility, and good name were completely slandered, maligned, and dragged through the mud. The only control I had was to reveal myself here on this blog, completely defusing the power my detractors thought they had over me when they left comments calling me out by my real name. Most of them were women who had developed crushes on me and couldn't handle it when they found out I was a woman.
Personally, when I suss out that a blogger I admire has created for him or herself an alternate, fictional reality, I fairly quiver with the excitement of finding even more reasons to love their fascinating minds.
I think the World of Blog is a reincarnation of the World of Literature. There's some good and a whole lot of bad, but I'm seeing an evolution, where certain creative bloggers are inventing alternate realities under pen names, just like the literally giants of past centuries. It's intellectually orgasmic and I'm happy to be at the forefront of it. Let's just resist the urge to unmask a blogger who is only trying to tell a good story. The difference is, on a blog the fantasy is in real time. How new and exciting and creative is that!?
I think Anaïs Nin, Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain Henry Miller, Gertrude Stein, Jim Morrison and John Lennon (to mention only a few) would have adored blogging.
Below is a list of only a few famous authors who write, or have written, under pen names. You may be surprised by some of them.
- Cecil Adams (author of The Straight Dope column—real name unknown)
- Richard Bachman (Stephen King)
- Acton Bell, Currer Bell, and Ellis Bell (Anne Brontë, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë)
- Nicolas Bourbaki (a group of mainly French 20th-century mathematicians)
- Anthony Burgess (John ['Jack'] Burgess Wilson)
- Cassandra (William Connor)
- Sue Denim (Dav Pilkey - Sue Denim is a parody of the word pseudonym; also used by science fiction writer Lewis Shiner
- Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)
- George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)
- C. S. Forester (Cecil Smith)
- Anatole France (Jacques Anatole François Thibault)
- Anthony Gilbert (Lucy Beatrice Malleson)
- O. Henry (William Sidney Porter)
- Hergé (Georges Remi)
- Ann Landers (Esther Pauline Friedman)
- Molière (Jean Baptiste Poquelin)
- George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair)
- Ellery Queen (Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee)
- Henry Handel Richardson (Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson)
- George Sand (Armandine Lucie Aurore Dupin)
- Dr. Seuss (Theodore Seuss Geisel - also used Theo. LeSie
- Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle)
- James Tiptree, Jr (Alice Sheldon)
- Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorn Clemens - also used "Sieur Louis de Conte" for his fictional biography of Joan of Arc)
- Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby - Pauline Esther Friedman Phillips)
- Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet)
- Nora Roberts (J.D. Rob)
- Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll, Clive Hamilton)